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High yellow rust levels mean growers who haven’t already done so should be prepared to protect wheat crops from the potentially devastating disease. Target yellow rust early this season

High yellow rust levels mean growers who haven’t already done so should be prepared to protect wheat crops from the potentially devastating disease.

“Advanced crops are much more susceptible to yellow rust infections because the dense canopies create the perfect environment for the pathogen to thrive,” says Andrew Wright, eastern region business manager for Hutchinsons.

Rising temperatures mean there is no room for complacency when it comes to rust –  especially on susceptible varieties. If rust isn’t controlled early on, it will continue to be a problem right up until flag leaf – having a significant impact on yield.

“You have to be ready to deal with the disease,” says Mr Wright. “Most of the  varieties grown this year have some susceptibility to yellow rust, but the ones to really watch are Graham, KWS Kerin and Gleam.”

Early infections can be tackled at T0 with a strobilurin-based product. If infections are still present at T1, Mr Wright advises following with a metconazole and fluxapyroxad based product, such as Wolverine from FMC.

Reduce resistance

“This provides stacked actives with a different mode of action, helping to reduce resistance. It also has the added benefit of being easily tank mixed which will fit in well with growers plans to apply broadleaf weed control, PGRs and nutrition at the T1 timing.”

The triazole + SDHI chemistry in Wolverine is also active against Septoria tritici – targeting both diseases at this critical timing. “By using this cost-effective option at T1, growers will also be able to save more expensive newer chemistry for T2.

“Yellow rust is by far the most visible disease we’re seeing so far this year and without control it could wreak havoc on yields. This is why it is vital to nip infections in the bud early.”